Cllr Jaswant Singh Birdi has stepped into the esteemed position of Lord Mayor of the vibrant city of Coventry.
Cllr Birdie, who had served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past 12 months, was presented with the honorary chains of office during the Annual General Meeting held at Coventry Cathedral. He takes the helm from Cllr Kevin Matton, who has worked diligently in the role.
Cllr Mal Mutton has been appointed as the Deputy Lord Mayor for the upcoming year.
Having dedicated 17 years to public service as a councillor in Coventry, Cllr Birdi has represented the Bablake Ward for the past nine years. Prior to this, he served two terms in the Hillfields Ward during the 1990s.
Cllr Birdi’s wife, Krishna, assumes the role of Lady Mayoress.
Born in a village in the Panjab region of northern India, Cllr Birdi spent his childhood in Lahore, Pakistan, and Calcutta, West Bengal, as his family sought employment opportunities. In the mid-1950s, he immigrated with his parents to Kenya, East Africa, where he received his primary and secondary education. Later on, in the 1960s, he moved to the UK to pursue further studies.
Beyond his responsibilities as a councillor, Cllr Birdi has been actively involved in establishing religious, social, and community initiatives within the city.
Remarkably, he becomes the first Lord Mayor of Coventry to don a turban, symbolizing his Sikh faith.
Expressing his pride, Cllr Birdi stated, “I am deeply honored to serve as the Lord Mayor of my cherished adopted city. Coventry has given my family and me so much over the years, and it fills me with great joy to showcase the city’s splendor and the incredible people who call it home.”
“As a Sikh, wearing the chain of office and my turban mean a lot to me. It will exemplify the harmonious multicultural environment that our city thrives in, and perhaps inspire others as well,” he said.
For her term of office, Cllr Birdie has named the Muscular Dystrophy Charity, Coventry Resource Center for the Blind, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity as her chosen benefactors.